BUDAPEST – Masako Doi won her first Grand Prix title on Saturday to give Japan a third gold medal and the lead on the second day of the Budapest Grand Prix.
In the women’s 63-kg final, Doi beat 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Ketleyn Quadros in golden score after the Brazilian was penalized for a third time. The 24-year-old Doi claimed her first Grand Slam win on the IJF circuit in Osaka last year.
“Recently, I’ve been losing in one event after another, so I came into this tournament planning to win and that’s how I competed,” Doi said. “I want to be among the contenders for (a spot in) the Tokyo Olympics.”
In the men’s 73-kg division, triple world champion and double Olympic bronze medalist Masashi Ebinuma lost to eventual gold medalist Akil Gjakova of Kosovo and went on to finish fifth.
Ebinuma expressed doubt about his chances of making Japan’s Olympic team.
“I can’t imagine it,” he said. “My chances are close to zero. There’s a huge difference between finishing third and finishing fifth.”
Funa Tonaki and Chishima Maeda delivered golds for Japan on the first day of the three-day meet in Budapest in the women’s 48-kg and 52-kg weight classes, respectively.